The Old Soviet Cyberspace Is A Haven For Hackers

Grace Higgins | November 14th, 2020

As we know the internet is huge, you can find amazing creations and learn easily, but it’s also home to some unsavory characters. One place that is filled with malicious websites and hackers is the ancient .su domain. This is the domain used by the old Soviet Union, and it’s not really policed at all these days. It’s not maintained either, which means it’s a perfect home for the world’s most infamous online criminals. In fact, many consider it the biggest hideout for the world’s most notorious hackers.

salon.com

Over 23 years ago just before the Soviet Union collapsed, they were issued a .su higher level internet domain. However, unlike the internet domains that were issued to ex Yugoslavia and East Germany, this domain was never shut down. The owners at the time decided to keep it alive and resisted any attempts to shut down the .su domain.

Once Russia was issued its own .ru domain, then the government started to become a lot more strict about what they would allow on a website. As a result, the scammers and hackers migrated back to the defunct .su domain. In fact, there was a booming period during 2012 where websites using the soviet domain quadrupled. One of the most notorious soviet websites, which has now been closed down, was called Exposed. And they published the credit scores of various American politicians and celebrities such as Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, or Tiger Woods.

However, the bulk of the websites running on this old soviet domain are known as botnets. These are networks of hacked computers that cybercriminals use to launch attacks on rival websites or to empty bank accounts. Today the domain is controlled by the Foundation for Internet Development, which is a Moscow-based nonprofit. They have stated there is a plan in place to regulate the domain and tighten things down – but there are still over 150,000 sites using the domain.

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